Hector Tamburi is Ekhtronic
Born in New York, Hector Tamburi moved to Argentina at the age of 11 where his music interest and career started. While working on his forthcoming album, the independent musician recently launched two singles titled Journey, which earned him the recognition from “The Ministery of Culture of the City of Mendoza”, and Dormitory.
Hector started out Ekhtronic as a personal project in 2009 while living in Mendoza, Argentina. This is where he won an award for Best Pop Band given by music magazine Revista Zero and also where Hector Tamburi started playing his music in on TV, Live shows, DJ sets, etc..
Anolie magazine recently sat with the talented musician for a brief interview.
1-How did you become interested in music?
I had this toy – which I still have – called QuickShot Studio 4 (it’s a device dating from 1988); with a friend, I would start playing with it and recording on tapes. When I got to Argentina, I started hanging out with kids whose older brothers and sisters listened to the Ramones, Nirvana, Pantera, etc. and I left that toy alone until I started making music of my own.
2-How did you become interested in DJing?
A friend and I were doing some music events and we had no money to pay the DJs, so we would get in the booth ourselves with some CDs and start mixing. After that, we built some tracks between Fl Studio and Reason and started intervening them live. Then some friends would ask for some DJ sets for different events, but being a DJ was never my main idea. I just did it once in a while. I would rather play with an instrument.
3-What do you like best about DJing?
I did some duo DJ sets making the music live with an Akai, Kaoss Pad and a MIDI controller. What I liked the most about those DJ sets was making the experience more dynamic by doing a DJ set with a friend “back to back” (one song each) and then going on the dance floor, fooling around, dancing, getting drunk, and talking to people.
4-What is it like playing for an American crowd as opposed to an Argentinian crowd?
So far, I can’t complain about the crowd in the U.S. because in the two shows I’ve done, I had a good response, with people going along with the beat, etc.
My music is not so difficult to understand, but I am influenced by European and some Argentinian music. The other difference is that I’ve been playing for the last 12 years in Argentina in one band or another and started this project in 2008. So it’s obvious that with all the time I’ve been living in Argentina, I developed a better understanding of what I was doing. At first, I got asked why I would sing in English while not knowing what all the words meant, but in time I made music that was a little more comfortable for the ear and I had a nice response.
Now I know the crowd understands me – which is something new for me too.
5-Which audience is more critical or harder to please?
I think I would need to do more shows to respond to this question. There is always someone who will not like what you do or just doesn’t understand you.
I started my musical career in an unconventional way because I like to question everything. I like to make small variations or do something that just breaks the structure of a “normal song” so you can notice that there is a human being behind it and not a robot.
So it depends on the crowd, how open-minded they are, and also on the music that they listen to, what things they do, etc.; all this helps me because I was part of a scene where there were different bands and we would all play together or go to each other’s shows. Right now, I feel like new, as if I’m starting all over again.
6-What is your favorite genre of music to play in a club?
It depends on how I wake up. I started out playing punk rock and moved on to what I play today, but when I play live I still have that punker image onstage.
If this question refers to my favorite genre of music as a DJ, then I would say I like Nu-disco, Italo disco, house, minimal, French house, and acid electronic music (acid house).
7-So you are working on a new album now, electronic music?
Yes. I’ve been working on this album for almost two years. I stopped, redid everything, stopped again and started all over again.
I am working with a friend called Chris Hana on this new album and I asked him what he thought the new album needed in order to finish the process and release it this year.
We took some songs out, songs that I like but that don’t work with the idea of this album. We are also working online. So it’s kind of complicated to establish a due date. Being here and looking for studios isn’t the same as in Argentina, where I knew where to go and solved problems more easily. Anyway, we have worked like this since 2012 because he lives in Buenos Aires and I was living in Mendoza, so we learned what it is like to work at a distance.
8-How did you become interested in electronic music?
I no longer wanted to play for anyone or be tied to a band. I started as a bass player for a band, and sometimes if I was traveling I would get invited to play, had nothing of my own and just didn’t want to play the songs from the band. Although I was the songwriter, there too I participated in the music in a way I just didn’t enjoy.
So after giving it much thought, I had to do something that would allow me to play just by myself. So I started recording some tracks on FL Studio while playing bass and singing on top; this is how I was initiated into electronic music.
After a few years of making changes and listening to more music, I ended up with a much better defined genre.
9-What do you feel like this album will bring to the table that is unique and different?
I think what I do is unique, which is why it’s hard to say which genre it belongs to. I like to believe it’s eclectic because of the process of the songs. The songs start with an acoustic guitar and my voice, then it’s fun when it goes to Ableton and I have to make changes, and if there is a sound that I hear in the street or while I am recording, I try to recreate it by playing with some midi synthes.
The thing that makes it different is that i never studied music, so I don’t have the stigma of saying I have to do this because it’s proper and in my studies people taught me to.do it. No, I have fun making music and producing what sounds wonderful to my ears. I can have in my mind the Brit pop or trip hop beat and when I transport it to the final song, it changes yet keeps something of the original. This is why sometimes there might be songs that start out sounding strange but there is always something that pops out and switches to music.
10-How do you see yourself as an artist? What do you hope to accomplish and how would you like to be perceived by the public?
If I were to look at myself from someone else’s shoes, I would try to understand and pay attention. Simplicity and minimalism are beautiful too: when I was playing bass, I wanted to do more than I could; then I understood that silences and simple arrangements sound great. You just have to find the atmosphere.
I just want to have some recognition and respect, living off what I enjoy and getting paid for having fun.
11-How has living/growing up in Argentina influenced your music?
I would say I was greatly influenced by the Argentinian music scene from the 90s called movida sonic and the under-porteño.
Also while there, I kept listening to English because I didn’t like watching movies dubbed into Spanish or with subtitles. This is how I started listening to much more music (this must have been around 1994).
12-Any final words?
I work with Chris Hana. He is helping me out and adding things to this new album. You can hear his participation on the two singles that are already out. I also want to thank Juan Andres Fontana for being the only one who has played live in all the shows since 2010, and I am grateful for other members who take part in Ekhtronic, both onstage and behind the scenes.
I am thankful for bands and friends from different parts of the world who for a strange and crazy reason always love, enjoy and are awaiting the new songs that I come up with. Ekhtronic exists because of them.